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    Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    A Trauma Treatment 

    Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidenced based treatment for children and teens who have experienced traumatic events and are having symptoms or problems related to these events.  Traumatic events are often scary, challenging, and/or threatening.

    • physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse
    • foster care
    • rape
    • witnessing violence in home or community
    • medical
    • death/loss of a loved one
    • natural or man made disaster i.e. tornado, hurricane, house fire

    Symptoms from these experiences can include problems with worrying, sleeping, school, not wanting to talk about what happened, startling easy, negative self statements, increased hyperactivity.  TF-CBT covers the same topics for all families in a flexible and child-friendly way that meets the needs of each child and parent.

    TF-CBT is a short term treatment that works in 20-25 weekly sessions.   During these sessions, the therapist talks alone with the child and alone with the parent, and sometimes with the child and parent together.  TF-CBT includes several steps.  The therapist moves on to the next step of therapy only when the parents, child and therapist agree that the family is ready.  The steps of TF-CBT are:

    • Helping parents manage difficult child behavior and keep child safe
    • Teaching families about how children react to trauma
    • Teaching children and parents skills to manage stress
    • Helping families name and talk about feelings related to the trauma
    • Teaching the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors
    • Helping children to write the story of their trauma
    • Correcting children’s unhelpful thoughts about the trauma
    • Correcting children’s unhelpful thoughts about the trauma
    • Preparing parents to hear their child’s trauma story
    • Helping children and parents talk with each other about the trauma
    • Teaching children skills to help them stay safe in the future